Worried about your family vacation to Greece? Here are the best places to visit in Athens with kids!
Athens, the cradle of Western civilization and the intellectual beacon of the world, is one of the top-rated tourist destinations in the world, a city high on everyone’s bucket-list, one with a seamless juxtaposition between the traditional and the modern, a city with a frozen-in-time allure only a few other places can match, and one with an endless array of activities. What happens when you finally get the chance to travel to Athens…but your kids are with you? You’ll have no choice but to take them to the best places to visit in Athens for kids.
Kids may not be as impressed with the roman ruins of the Acropolis, the grandeur of the Agora, or the mystique of the Temple of Zeus, and luckily for you (and for them!), Athens has a lot to offer to kids, making the trip an overall enjoyable one for everyone. Athens doesn’t just cater to kids with customized special menus in restaurants, or mini-playgrounds hidden in the corner of some district – Athens incorporates kids into many of its monuments and even has entire attractions dedicated to them. No matter how many days in Athens you’re staying, there will always be room to have activities that include your kids!
So if you are traveling with your kids, there’s no need to fret – here are the best places to visit in Athens with kids!
There is no doubt that you will spend a good chunk of your day walking around the ancient ruins, the historical plazas, and going in and out of museums all day and it’s always nice to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, even if just for a little while. Your legs, and more importantly – your kids, will thank you! The national gardens with its 24 hectares of vegetation, gardens trees and plants is situated right in the heart of Athens and was created by Friedrich von Gaertner, a famous French architect.
Before sitting down and resting between the greenery and the soothing sounds of the dozens of bird species all melodically singing together, you can walk around the garden with your kids where they will be met with little fairy-tale like ponds with duck and fish where they can try and feed them, take pictures of them or gawk at the animals as they go on with their daily lives. Warning: Your kids may or may not end up chasing the ducks – now don’t say we haven’t warned you! Apart from that, your kids can play in the specifically designed playground with the swings and seesaws.
There’s also a small zoo, the Zappeion Hall, and a conservatory where plants are cultivated before being planted right in the garden.
Your kids, however, will enjoy those two main attractions the most:
- The Sun Dial The sun dial stands in the middle of the entrance, designed hundreds of years ago before clocks were invented to be able to tell the time. You can teach your kids how to stand in the sun dial, check their hand’s shadows and try to tell the time based on the position of the sun and their shadows. They’ll not only learn a new skill they can impress their friends at school with later on, but it’ll be very fun for you too!
- The Children’s Library Perched in the middle of the National Gardens is the Children’s Library housed in a previous hunting lodge for king Otto. This library was designed for the sole purpose of entertaining kids, where they can read books, listen to fairytale narrations, listen to music, or paint and create puzzles. While your kids are at the library, you can have a quick cup of coffee in the café nearby.
Museum of Greek Children Art
This entire museum, hosted in Kodrou Street 9, is a place dedicated to the love of art, to the beauty of artistic expression, to creative development and to children’s sense of wonder. The museum stores and showcases artwork done by thousands of children, all aged between 5 and 14 years of age. The main purpose of the Museum of Greek Children Art is to exhibit true displays of artistic creativity, fantasy, color, and to be able to explore the intricate details of children’s mind through having them express themselves through art uniquely, and lastly, it promotes art as an alternative form of education – one that actually intertwines with educational material and school curriculums to create a more varied, unique way of teaching that is supposedly going to help children develop differently and become more creative and expressive.
Your kids will be, for the first time in their lives probably, standing in a museum watching art done by people their age. It will teach them that nothing is impossible, there is nothing called “too young to make it” or “too young to learn”, and that they too can have their artwork displayed on the walls of a museum.
Above all of that, there are drawings created by children from the war, toys from Africa, and drawings from children from different cultures. If you are lucky, there will be a seminar, workshop or exhibition that you can attend a direct part of, or you can attend a competition where children get to compete in a variety of artistic activities.
After you’re done, head over to the Gift Shop which offers a large collection of books, postcards, games, souvenirs and much more.
Cost: 3 EUR
Hellenic Children Museum
Enclosed in a neoclassical building in Plaka, the Hellenic children Music has a variety of exhibits with the sole purpose of teaching. Here, kids don’t just come to watch and admire art, they don’t come just to play, and they don’t come just to learn – it’s a perfect between all three that will shape who they are, how they think, and how they live. It allows kids a chance of discovery of the world and will help broaden their knowledge – even for just a little while.
Top Exhibitions To Check Out:
Hello Pythagoras – This is where your kids learn about the dreaded geometry where they can play different games that will help them grasp the difficulty mathematical problems.
Toy Store – A huge collection of innovative games.
Bubble room Here, the children learn how to handle water, what atoms it’s made up of and then get to create huge bubbles and learn how to make a shape with them.
The Market Shops are turned into smaller sized samples to help children learn how to deal with external, real-life situations. So for example, the “market” consists of a Bakery, a Pharmacy and a Butchers shop.
The Attic – We have phones, pictures, and probably proof of how we lived back in the days, but children have yet to experience the feeling of “going back in time” by looking at old everyday objects. This room tries to open up the eyes of children to the possibility of having different shaped objects many years ago.
Factory The factory teaches children all about mass production.
What better way to please your kids than going to a zoo? All children love animals, and all children love the thrill that comes with visiting a place so filled with different animal species all ready to be explored. The Attica zoo has over 2000 animals from 350 different species, and all considerations for safety are taken.
Your kids will be able to temporarily go on a journey through five different continents by visiting the animals unique to every country – we’re talking African Savannahs mirroring with white lions, alligators, jaguars, leopards and a lot more.
The zoo tries as much as possible to incorporate entertainment and fun with education, and so each exhibit has a small documentation about the animal’s characteristics.
The most important animal collections:
- The World of Reptiles
- The African Savannah
- The Cheetah Land and Monkey Forest – here, kids can learn about monkeys and cheetahs by getting extremely close to them.
- The Bird Collection – The third largest bird collection in the world.
- Greek Fauna – Wolves, bears, foxes…etc
Cost: Adult 18 euros.
Children 3-12: 14 euros.
Kids are filled with a sense of wonder, and the best way to work on it to feed that sense of wonder even more. Since the beginning of time, humans have always been fascinated by outer space, the skies, the stars, the notion that there is something so much bigger and vaster than us up there, and kids are no exception. The Planetarium houses a 950-sq-meter dome which will take you and your kids to trips through the galaxy, in addition to screening IMAX movies and shows.
It is considered the largest digital planetarium in the world, and the 280 seats available are all equipped with units that help complete the experience and make it as genuine and authentic as possible. You sit on of the chairs, and you can watch the real-time images of the galaxies and the skies above.
There are many other rooms where kids get the chance to learn about complex chemistry and physics notions that will test their imagination and awareness.
- The Living Planet – an entire presentation on plants, trees, vegetation..etc. all with animated characters to cater perfectly to kids.
- Tales of the Sky – Stories of the stars and constellations.
- Ancient Skies – A journey through space, by visiting the skies of ancient Egypt and its monuments.
- The Mystery of Life – How earth and all creatures began on earth.
- Evolution – An explanation of the theory of evolution.
Adult: 6-8 euros
Children: 4-5 euros
Allou Fun Park
It’s almost impossible to find a kid who is not intrigued and wildly passionate about amusement parks. Sure, they might be scared of a ride or two, but amusement parks are the perfect place to go to, to get the excitement running and the adrenaline rushing for you and your kids!
Head over to the Allou Fun Park for a day filled with adventure, games, laughs and most definitely a lot of screams.
– The Shock Tower – be prepared to get dropped from a height of 450 meters.
– The Panorama – The panorama is a large Ferris wheel that boasts incredible panoramic vistas of the entire city of Athens.
– Kingdom Fun Park – If your kids are under 12 years old, this park is the perfect place for them with rides catered solely for their needs.
The list above tries to help incoming problems by incorporating kids into the day-to-day travel activities, instead of dragging them around to historical and ancient monuments in Athens. You won’t be going to useless kids attractions. However, most of the places listed above carry an advantage for your kid’s mental health, and they will most definitely come out of this experience having learned something new!
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Ryan Smith is a full-time traveller and founder of MrAbroad.com, where he turns his passion into interesting information for travel lovers. MrAbroad focuses on travel destinations, helpful tips&tricks. It is built to inspire you to live a life full of adventure, joy and experience.
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